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By ESPN Staff

Ferguson reveals winter break idea

Sir Alex Ferguson believes one round of Premier League fixtures could be played over a three-week period in January to allow the introduction of a much-needed winter break.

The Manchester United boss has consistently championed the winter break idea throughout his time at Old Trafford.

However, there has never been any desire among football's powerbrokers for such a move, even though Sven-Goran Eriksson felt it was one of the reasons England so often failed on the international scene.

But Ferguson has looked at the matter again. And, having assessed the international fixture list, which now runs into June, and taking into account traditional Christmas and New Year games, the Scot feels he has an idea with widespread appeal.

"You could keep the Christmas fixtures as they are but stagger one round of 10 matches throughout January," he told Inside United.

"Three games could be played on the first weekend, a further three on the next weekend and the final four on the third weekend.

"TV broadcasters would not lose out because they can show matches each weekend, and players could rest.

"Also, last season the league finished on May 11. Why can't we extend it until the end of that month and take two weeks off in January.

"The weather is better in May and there is no issue with worn-out pitches in modern football."

An element of Ferguson's planning is already in place as this season's final Premier League games will take place on May 24, with the FA Cup Final at Wembley coming six days after that.

And Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore will have noticed that Ferguson's idea could be used as the basis for an international round of matches, an idea that has not entirely disappeared despite widespread revolt when it was first raised last summer.

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